Architectural Services Department

 

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Provision of Cremators at Wo

 

 Hop Shek Crematorium

 

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Environmental Impact

 Assessment Report

 
Volume 1 of 2

 
(Main Text and Figures)

February 2008

Report no: 01256R0043

 

Joint Venture or Associate logo(s) —>

 

 

 


Architectural Services Department

 

 

Client logo(s) —>

 

 

 

Provision of Cremators at Wo

 

 Hop Shek Crematorium

 

 

Environmental Impact Assessment Report

 
Volume 1 of 2 (Main Text and Figures)

 

Author:

Various

 

Checker:

Alexi BHANJA

 

Approver:

Dr Guiyi LI

 

 

Report no:

01256R0043

 

 

Date:

February 2008


This report has been prepared for Architectural Services Department in accordance with the terms and conditions of appointment for Draft Environmental Impact Assessment. Hyder Consulting Ltd (COI Number 126012) cannot accept any responsibility for any use of or reliance on the contents of this report by any third party.

Hyder Consulting Ltd

COI Number 126012

47th Floor, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queens Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Tel: +852 2911 2233 Fax: +852 2805 5028 www.hyderconsulting.com


Contents

1        Introduction.. 1

1.1      Background. 1

1.2      Purpose of the EIA Study. 2

1.3      Objectives of the EIA Study. 2

1.4      Key Environmental Issues and Study Approach. 3

1.5      Structure of EIA Report 4

2        Project Description.. 5

2.1      The Need and Justification for the Project 5

2.2      Consideration of Alternative Options. 6

2.3      Consideration of Different Transportation Routes. 10

2.4      Selection of Preferred Scenario. 11

2.5      Project Description. 15

2.6      Benefits of the Project 18

2.7      Cremation Technology. 18

2.8      Air Pollution Control Technology. 20

2.9      Interactions with Other Projects. 21

3        Air Quality Impact Assessment 23

3.1      Introduction. 23

3.2      Project Background. 23

3.3      Air Quality Legislation, Policies, Plans, Standards and Criteria. 24

3.4      Description of Existing Environment 26

3.5      Air Pollution Sources. 31

3.6      Assessment Methodology. 33

3.7      Assessment Results. 42

3.8      Contaminated Materials inside Cremators, Flues and Chimneys. 53

3.9      Asbestos Investigation. 53

3.10    Mitigation Measures. 55

3.11    Residual Impact 57

3.12    References. 57

4        Noise Impact Assessment 59

4.1      Introduction. 59

4.2      Environmental Legislation, Policies, Plans, Standards and Criteria. 59

4.3      Noise Sensitive Receivers and Baseline Condition. 61

4.4      Construction Noise Impact Assessment 62

4.5      Operation Noise Impact Assessment 66

4.6      Environmental Monitoring and Audit Requirement 69

4.7      Conclusions. 70

5        Land Contamination Assessment 71

5.1      Introduction. 71

5.2      Site Appraisal 72

5.3      Contamination Sources and Potential Contamination. 72

5.4      Site Investigation. 73

5.5      Assessment Criteria. 75

5.6      Assessment Results. 75

5.7      Remediation Action Plan. 76

5.8      Further Site Investigation. 77

5.9      Potential Contamination due to Future Operation. 78

6        Waste Management Implications. 79

6.1      Introduction. 79

6.2      Legislation, Standards, Guidelines and Criteria. 79

6.3      Project Phases and Timetable. 80

6.4      Assessment Methodology. 81

6.5      Activities and Waste Generation During Construction and Demolition Phases. 82

6.6      Activities and Waste Generation During Operation Phases. 86

6.7      Proposals for Waste Management during Construction and Demolition Phases. 88

6.8      Proposals for Waste Management during Operation Phase. 93

6.9      Impacts Caused by Handling, Collection and Disposal of Waste. 102

6.10    Cumulative Impacts due to Concurrent Projects. 107

6.11    Further Asbestos/Dioxin Investigations. 107

6.12    Conclusion. 108

7        Landscape and Visual Impact assessment 110

7.1      Introduction. 110

7.2      Relevant Legislation and Guidelines. 111

7.3      Assessment Methodology. 111

7.4      Review of Planning and Development Control Framework. 112

7.5      Landscape Baseline Conditions. 112

7.6      Landscape Impact Assessment 116

7.7      Visual Baseline Conditions. 120

7.8      Visual Impact Assessment 124

7.9      Recommended Landscape and Visual Impact Mitigation Measures. 128

7.10    Residual Landscape Impacts. 131

7.11    Residual Visual Impacts. 133

7.12    Provisional Programme of Landscape Works. 139

7.13    Funding, Implementation, Management and Maintenance of Landscape Works. 139

7.14    Summary and Conclusions. 139

8        Water Quality Impact Assessment 140

8.1      Introduction. 140

8.2      Legislation, Standards, Guidelines and Criteria. 140

8.3      Assessment Methodology. 140

8.4      Baseline Condition. 141

8.5      Water Quality Sensitive Receivers. 141

8.6      Impact Prediction and Evaluation. 141

8.7      Mitigation Measures. 143

8.8      Cumulative Impact due to Concurrent Project 145

8.9      Residual Impact 145

8.10    Environmental Monitoring and Audit Requirement 145

8.11    Conclusion. 146

8.12    References. 146

9        Ecological Impact Assessment 147

9.1      Introduction. 147

9.2      Legislation, Standards, Guidelines and Criteria. 147

9.3      Assessment Methodology. 149

9.4      Baseline Condition. 152

9.5      Ecological Value of the Habitats. 156

9.6      Identification of Potential Impacts. 161

9.7      Evaluation of Potential Impacts. 161

9.8      Mitigation Measures. 167

9.9      Cumulative Impact due to Concurrent Project 172

9.10    Residual Impact 172

9.11    Environmental Monitoring and Audit Requirement 174

9.12    Conclusion. 174

9.13    References. 175

10      Environmental Outcomes. 176

10.1    The Project 176

10.2    Key Environmental Impacts. 176

10.3    Key Environmental Outcomes. 178

11      Environmental Monitoring and Audit (EM&A) Requirements. 182

11.1    Introduction. 182

11.2    EM&A Requirements for Construction Phase. 182

11.3    EM&A Requirements for Operation Phase. 187

11.4    Summary for All Monitoring Parameters. 189

11.5    Implementation Schedule of Mitigation Measures. 191

12      Conclusion and Recommendations. 192

12.1    Air Quality Impact 192

12.2    Noise Impact 192

12.3    Land Contamination Impact 193

12.4    Waste Management Implications. 193

12.5    Landscape and Visual Impact 194

12.6    Water Quality Impact 194

12.7    Ecological Impact 195

12.8    Overall 195

 


Tables

Table 2-1            Environmental Benefits and Dis-benefits of Feasible Extension Options       14

Table 2-2            Development Schedule                                                                               16

Table 3-1            List of Relevant Hong Kong Air Quality Objectives                                       24

Table 3-2            Concentration Limits for Emission from Cremators                                        25

Table 3-3            Chronic and Acute Criteria for Toxic Air Pollutants                                       26

Table 3-4            Health Risk Guidelines for Exposure to Toxic Air Pollutants                         26

Table 3-5            Background Air Pollutant Concentration                                                       27

Table 3-6            Air Sensitive Receivers within the Study Area                                             29

Table 3-7            Comparison of Existing and New Cremators                                               30

Table 3-8            Summary of Measurement and Analytical Results of Stack Air Sampling for Existing Skeletal Cremator               34

Table 3-9            Worst-case Scenario of Construction Phase                                                35

Table 3-10           Operation Details of the New Cremators                                                      36

Table 3-11           Target Emission Level of New Cremators and Overseas Emission Standards 38

Table 3-12           Air Pollutant Emission Rate of New Cremators                                             39

Table 3-13           Odour Emission Rates                                                                                 40

Table 3-14           Conversion Factor for Odour                                                                      41

Table 3-15           Modelling Assumptions                                                                                42

Table 3-16           Maximum Predicted Cumulative TSP Levels at ASR – Scenario A              45

Table 3-17           Maximum Predicted Cumulative TSP Levels at ASR – Scenario B              46

Table 3-18           Maximum Predicted Cumulative Air Pollutant Concentration at ASR             48

Table 3-19           Maximum Predicted Cumulative Air Pollutant Concentration at ASR             49

Table 3-20           Maximum Predicted Odour Unit of Different Stability Class                           50

Table 3-21           Maximum Predicted Odour Unit Under Stability Class E, F                          51

Table 3-22           Calculation of Burning Material of Joss Paper Burner                                  52

Table 4-1            EIAO-TM Noise Standard for Construction Activities Undertaken During Non-Restricted Hours       60

Table 4-2            Acceptable Noise Levels in Leq(30 min) dB(A)                                           60

Table 4-3            EIAO-TM Noise Standards for Construction Activities Undertaken During Restricted Hours             61

Table 4-4            Details of Representative Noise Sensitive Receivers                                   62

Table 4-5            Predicted (Unmitigated) Noises Levels of Phase I, Phase II and Future Expansion Phase Construction Works  64

Table 4-6            Predicted (Mitigated) Noises Levels of Phase I, Phase II and Future Expansion Phase Construction Works       65

Table 4-7            Sound Power Levels of Fixed plant                                                             67

Table 4-8            Sound Power Levels of Fixed plant inside Cremator Plant Room                67

Table 4-9            Prevailing Noise Level                                                                                68

Table 4-10           Predicted Operation Noise Level at the Representative NSR                      69

Table 5-1            Summary of Potential Contamination                                                            73

Table 5-2            Details of Sampling Regime                                                                         75

Table 5-3            Testing Parameters for Further Site Investigation                                         78

Table 6‑1            Quantity of Bone Ash and Non-combustible Residues                                 86

Table 6‑2            Daily Fly Ash Generated from APC Equipment                                            88

Table 6‑3            Recommended Waste Management During Demolition and Construction Phase           93

Table 6‑4            Recommended Waste Management During Operation Phase                   102

Table 6‑5            Proposed contamination Classification for Ash Waste with DCM/HMCM     103

Table 6‑6            Future Contamination Investigation Requirements                                     108

Table 7-1            LR 1: Sensitivity to Potential Change                                                         113

Table 7-2            LR 2: Sensitivity to Potential Change                                                         113

Table 7-3            LR 3: Sensitivity to Potential Change                                                         114

Table 7-4            LR 4: Sensitivity to Potential Change                                                         114

Table 7-5            LCA 1: Sensitivity to Potential Change                                                       115

Table 7-6            LCA 2: Sensitivity to Potential Change                                                       115

Table 7-7            Impacts on Landscape Resources before Mitigation                                  118

Table 7-8            Impacts on Landscape Character Areas before Mitigation                         119

Table 7-9            VSR 1: Sensitivity to Potential Change                                                       120

Table 7-10           VSR 2: Sensitivity to Potential Change                                                       121

Table 7-11           VSR 3: Sensitivity to Potential Change                                                       122

Table 7-12           VSR 4: Sensitivity to Potential Change                                                       122

Table 7-13           VSR 5: Sensitivity to Potential Change                                                       123

Table 7-14           VSR 6: Sensitivity to Potential Change                                                       124

Table 7-15           Impacts on Visually Sensitive Receivers before Mitigation                          127

Table 7-16           Residual Impacts on Landscape Resources                                              132

Table 7-17           Residual Impacts on Landscape Character Areas                                     133

Table 7-18           Residual Impact on Visual Sensitive Receivers                                          135

Table 7-19           Environmental Mitigation Implementation Schedule                                    138

Table 9-1            Area of Habitat                                                                                           153

Table 9-2            Ecological Value of Semi-Natural Woodland                                              156

Table 9-3            Ecological Value of Urbanized Area                                                          157

Table 9-4            Ecological Value of Woodland                                                                    157

Table 9-5            Ecological Value of Scrubland                                                                   158

Table 9-6            Ecological Value of Abandoned Land                                                        158

Table 9-7            Ecological Value of Orchard                                                                      159

Table 9-8            Ecological Value of the Two Streams                                                         159

Table 9-9            Evaluation of Species with Ecological Interest within the Project Site           160

Table 9-10           Overall Impact Evaluation for Semi-Natural Woodland                               163

Table 9-11           Overall Impact Evaluation for Scrubland                                                    164

Table 9-12           Summary of Potential Ecological Impact and Mitigation Measures              174

Table 10‑1           Summary of Key Environmental Impacts                                                    178

Table 11‑1           Proposed Monitoring Location                                                                   183

Table 11‑2           Limit Level of Air Quality Monitoring for Construction Phase                       183

Table 11‑3           Testing Parameters for Further Site Investigation                                       185

Table 11‑4           Supplementary Site Investigation                                                               185

Table 11‑5           Summary for all Monitoring Parameters                                                     191

 

Figures

Figure 1-1               Location Plan

Figure 2-1               Alternative Extension Options at Adjacent Sites

Figure 2-2               Alternative Chimney Locations

Figure 2-3               Transportation Routes during Construction and Operation Phases

Figure 2-4               Transportation Routes during Construction and Operation Phases

Figure 2-5               Location Plan and Chimney Location

Figure 2-6               Locations of Concurrent Project

Figure 3-1               Site Location, Study Area and Air Sensitive Receiver

Figure 3-2               Site Location of Concurrent Project

Figure 3-3               1-hour Average TSP Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level) – Scenario A (Unmitigated)

Figure 3-4               24-hour Average TSP Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level) – Scenario A (Unmitigated)

Figure 3-5               1-hour Average TSP Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level) – Scenario B (Unmitigated)

Figure 3-6               24-hour Average TSP Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level) – Scenario B (Unmitigated)

Figure 3-7               1-hour Average TSP Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level) – Scenario A (Mitigated)

Figure 3-8               24-hour Average TSP Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level) – Scenario A (Mitigated)

Figure 3-9               1-hour Average TSP Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level) – Scenario B (Mitigated)

Figure 3-10             24-hour Average TSP Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level) – Scenario B (Mitigated)

Figure 3-11             24-hour Average RSP Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-12             1-hour Average CO Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-13             8-hour Average CO Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-14             1-hour Average NO2 Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-15             24-hour Average NO2 Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-16             1-hour Average NO2 Concentration Contour at 71.4mAG (23rd Floor)

Figure 3-17             24-hour Average NO2 Concentration Contour at 71.4mAG (23rd Floor)

Figure 3-18             1-hour Average SO2 Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-19             24-hour Average SO2 Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-20             1-hour Average SO2 Concentration Contour at 71.4mAG (23rd Floor)

Figure 3-21             24-hour Average SO2 Concentration Contour at 71.4mAG (23rd Floor)

Figure 3-22             1-hour Average TOC Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-23             24-hour Average TOC Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-24             1-hour Average TOC Concentration Contour at 71.4mAG (23rd Floor)

Figure 3-25             24-hour Average TOC Concentration Contour at 71.4mAG (23rd Floor)

Figure 3-26             1-hour Average Hg Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-27             Annual Average Hg Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-28             1-hour Average Hg Concentration Contour at 71.4mAG (23rd Floor)

Figure 3-29             Annual Average Hg Concentration Contour at 71.4mAG (23rd Floor)

Figure 3-30             1-hour Average HCl Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-31             Annual Average HCl Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-32             1-hour Average HCl Concentration Contour at 71.4mAG (23rd Floor)

Figure 3-33             Annual Average HCl Concentration Contour at 71.4mAG (23rd Floor)

Figure 3-34             Annual Average Dioxins Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-35             Annual Average Dioxins Concentration Contour at 71.4mAG (23rd Floor)

Figure 3-36             5-second Average Odour Concentration Contour at 1.4mAG (Ground Level)

Figure 3-37             5-second Average Odour Concentration Contour at 71.4mAG (23rd Floor)

Figure 4-1               Site Location, Study Area and Representative Noise Sensitive Receivers

Figure 6-1               Waste Management Hierarchy and Categorisation of Soild Waste in Hong Kong

Figure 6-2               Locations of Further Contaminatioin Investigation

Figure 6-3               Locations of Further Inspectin of ACM

Figure 7-1               Aerial Photo of the Project Site

Figure 7-2               Landscape Resources Plan

Figure 7-3               Landscape Character Plan

Figure 7-4               Location and Visual Envelope of Visual Sensitive Receivers

Figure 7-5               Summary of Impacts on Landscape Resources

Figure 7-6               Summary of Impacts on Landscape Characters

Figure 7-7               Summary of Impacts on Visual Sensitive Receivers

Figure 7-8               Photomontage View from VSR2 – Wah Sum Estate

Figure 7-9               Photomontage View from VSR5 – Kiu Tau Road

Figure 7-10             Preliminary Landscape Plan

Figure 8-1               Water Sensitive Receivers

Figure 9-1               Habitat Map inside Study Boundary

Figure 9-2               Habitat Map inside Site Boundary

Figure 9-3               Location Plan for Transplantation and Compensatory Planting

 

Annexes

Annex 2‑a               Floor Plans

Annex 3‑a               Air Sampling and Analytical Results for the Existing Skeletal Cremator

Annex 3‑b               Study on Alternative Fuels

Annex 3‑c               Rules Governing Coffins Used in Cremation

Annex 3‑d               Emission Rate of New Cremators

Annex 3‑e               Major Roads within Study Area and Traffic Forecast

Annex 3‑f                Vehicular Emission Rate and Sensitivity Test

Annex 3‑g               Air Quality Modelling Results (Construction Phase)

Annex 3‑h               Air Quality Modelling Results (Operation Phase)

Annex 3‑i                Asbestos Investigation Report

Annex 4-a               Photographs of Representative NSRs

Annex 4-b               Details of Construction Plant Inventories (Unmitigated)

Annex 4-c               Prediction of Noise Levels for Construction Works (Unmitigated)

Annex 4-d               Details of Construction Plant Inventories (Mitigated)

Annex 4-e               Prediction of Noise Levels for Construction Works (Mitigated)

Annex 4-f                Prediction of Cumulative Noise Levels

Annex 4-g               Calculations of Fixed-noise Source

Annex 4-h               Prevailing Noise Levels at Representative NSRs

Annex 5-a               Contamination Assessment Plan

Annex 5-b               Interim Contamination Assessment Report

Annex 5-c               Technical Note for Further Site Investigation Works for Underground Fuel Oil Tank

Annex 7-a               Photographs of Landscape Resources

Annex 7-b               Tree Survey Report

Annex 7-c               Photographs of Landscape Characters

Annex 7-d               Photographs of Visual Sensitive Receivers

Annex 9-a               Photos of Surveyed Habitats

Annex 9-b               Aerial Photos

Annex 9-c               Plant Species Recorded within Study Area

Annex 9-d               Bird Species Recorded within Study Area

Annex 9-e               Butterfly and Dragonfly Species Recorded within Study Area

Annex 9-f                Tree Species for Tree Compensation

Annex 11‑a             Implementation Schedule

 

List of Abbreviations

AADT           Annual average daily traffic

AAP            Asbestos Abatement Plan

ACM            Asbestos Containing Materials

AFCD          Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department

AIR              Asbestos Investigation Report

ANL             Acceptable Noise Levels

APC            Air Pollution Control (equipment)

APCO          Air Pollution Control Ordinance

AQO            Air Quality Objectives

ArchSD        Architectural Services Department

ASR            Area Sensitivity Rating

ASRs           Air Sensitive Receivers

 

BOD            Biological Oxygen Demand

BPM            Best Practicable Means

BTEX           Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylene

 

C&C            Crematorium and columbarium

CAP            Contamination Assessment Plan

CAR            Contamination Assessment Report

CARB          California Air Resources Board

CEDD          Civil Engineering and Development Department

CITES          Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

CNP            Construction Noise Permit

CO              Carbon monoxide

COP            Code of Practice

CWTC          Chemical Waste Treatment Centre

 

DA-TM         Technical Memorandum on Noise from Construction Work other than Percussive Piling

DCM            Dioxin Contaminated Materials

 

ER               Engineer’s Representative

EIA              Environmental Impact Assessment

EIAO           Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance

EIAO-TM      Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance Technical Memorandum

EM&A          Environmental Monitoring and Audit

EMP            Environmental Management Plan

EPD            Environmental Protection Department

ET               Environmental Team

ETWB          Environment, Transport and Works Bureau

 

FEHD          Food and Environmental Hygiene Department

 

GFA            Gross Floor Area

GPA            Government Property Agency

GW-TM        Technical Memorandum on Noise from Construction Work other than Percussive Piling

HCl              Hydrogen chloride

HEPA          High Efficiency Particulate Air

Hg               Mercury

HKPC          Hong Kong Productivity Council

HKPSG        Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines

HMCM         Heavy Metal Contaminated Materials

HOKLAS      Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme

HTML           Hyper Text Markup Language

HVS            High Volume Sampler

 

IEC              Independent Environmental Checker

IND-TM        Technical Memorandum for the Assessment of Noise from Places other than Domestic Premises, Public Places or Construction Sites

ISCST          Industrial Source Complex Short-Term (Air Pollution Modelling)

IUCN           World Conservation Union

 

LCA             Landscape Character Areas

LR               Landscape Resources

 

NCO            Noise Control Ordinance

NO2                  Nitrogen dioxide

NOx                           Nitrogen oxides

NSRs           Noise Sensitive Receivers

 

OU              Odour Unit

OZP             Outline Zoning Plan

 

PAH            Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons

PAHCM       Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons Contaminated Materials

PCB            Polychlorinated Biphenyls

PME            Powered Mechanical Equipment

PP-TM         Technical Memorandum on Noise from Percussive Piling

PRC            Peoples’ Republic of China

ProPECC     Practice Note for Professional Persons

PVA            Polyvinyl acetate

 

RAP            Remediation Action Plan

RBRGs        Risk-Based Remediation Goals

RSP            Respirable Suspended Particulates

 

SO2             Sulphur dioxide

SP               Specified Process

SSSI            Site of Special Scientific Interest

SWL            Sound Power Level

 

T&C             Testing and commissioning

TC               Technical Circular

TCLP           Toxicity Characteristics Leaching Procedure

TD               Transport Department

TEQ             Toxicity equivalent (for dioxin species)

TFS             Technical Feasibility Study

TM               Technical Memorandum

TOC             Total Organic Carbon

TPH             Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon

TPHCM        Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon Containing Materials

TPO             Town Planning Ordinance

TSP             Total Suspended Particulates

 

ULSD           Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel

USEPA        United State Environmental Protection Agency

 

VIA              Visual Impact Assessment

VSRs           Visual Sensitive Receivers

 

WCZ            Water Control Zone

WHO           World Health Organisation

WMP           Waste Management Plan

WPCO         Water Pollution Control Ordinance

WQO           Water Quality Objectives

WSRs          Water Sensitive Receivers


1                       Introduction

1.1               Background

1.1.1             The existing Wo Hop Shek Crematorium is a coffin crematorium with two twin cremators. A skeletal cremator building with a single cremator operates nearby for the cremation of skeletal remains from burial. The skeletal cremator and the coffin cremators were commissioned in the 1960’s and 1991 respectively.

1.1.2             As the five existing cremators are approaching the end of their serviceable life, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) proposes to demolish the existing coffin crematorium and the skeletal cremator building and to construct in-situ a new crematorium in the same site. This proposal forms the proposed Project “Provision of Cremators at Wo Hop Shek Crematorium” (hereafter referred to as the ‘Project’).

1.1.3             The locations and site boundaries of the existing and new crematorium are shown in Figure 1-1.

1.1.4             The demolition and construction works will be undertaken in the three phases outlined below:

Phase I (Year 2009 to Year 2011)

1.1.5             Phase I works include the demolition of the existing coffin crematorium building, transformer room and pump room, construction of three service halls and one cremation plant room with sufficient space for housing nine single cremators and other ancillary facilities, and the provision of seven new cremators including five coffin cremators, one skeletal cremator and one dual purpose cremator.

Phase II (Year 2012)

1.1.6             The existing skeletal cremator building will be demolished upon completion of Phase I works (i.e. there will be no overlapping between Phases I and II).

Phase III: Future Expansion Phase (for completion by around 2014)

1.1.7             This Phase comprises the construction of one additional service hall and provision of two additional cremators to the cremator plant room as future expansion.

1.1.8             Detailed descriptions of the three phases are provided in Section 2.4 of this Report.

1.1.9             The Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) is the works agent and the Project Proponent for implementing the Project. The new cremators will be handed over to FEHD for operation after completion of construction works.

1.1.10         The proposed Project is classified as a Designated Project (DP) under Category N.4 – A crematorium of Part I in Schedule 2 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO).

1.1.11         Pursuant to Section 5(7)(a) of the EIAO, the Director of Environmental Protection issued the EIA Study Brief No. ESB-140/2006 to the Project Proponent for carrying out an EIA Study of the Project.

1.1.12         Hyder Consulting Limited has been appointed by ArchSD as the Consultant to undertake the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in accordance with the EIAO, Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process (EIAO-TM) as well as the EIA Study Brief.

1.2               Purpose of the EIA Study

1.2.1             The purpose of this EIA Study is to provide information on the nature and extent of environmental impacts likely to arise from the demolition/ construction and operation stages of the Project and related activities taking place concurrently. The information provided by this EIA Study will contribute to the decision on:

§           The overall acceptability of any adverse environmental consequences that are likely to arise as a result of the Project and the associated activities of the Project;

§           The conditions and requirements for the detailed design, demolition/ construction and operation stages of the Project to mitigate against adverse environmental consequences wherever practicable; and

§           The acceptability of residual impacts after the proposed mitigation measures are implemented.

1.3               Objectives of the EIA Study

1.3.1             The objectives of this EIA study are to:

§           Describe the Project and associated works together with the need for the Project;

§           Identify and describe elements of the community and environment likely to be affected by the Project and/or likely to cause adverse impacts to the Project;

§           Give consideration to selecting alternative Project options, sites, layouts, designs and construction methods with a view to avoiding and minimizing the potential environmental impacts;

§           Provide reasons for selecting the preferred option(s) and describe the environmental considerations taken into account in the selection;

§           Identify and quantify key environmental issues/impacts and determine the significance of impacts on sensitive receivers and potential affected uses;

§           Propose mitigation measures so as to minimize pollution, environmental disturbance and nuisance during demolition/construction and operation stages of the Project;

§           Investigate the feasibility, practicability, effectiveness and implications of the proposed mitigation measures;

§           Identify, predict and evaluate the residual environmental impacts and the cumulative effects expected to arise during the demolition/ construction and operation stages of the Project in relation to the sensitive receivers and potential affected uses;

§           Identify, assess and specify methods, measures and standards, to be included in the detailed design, demolition/construction and operation stages of the Project which are necessary to mitigate these environmental impacts and cumulative effects and reduce them to acceptable levels;

§           Investigate the extent of the secondary environmental impacts (if any) that may arise from the proposed mitigation measures and to identify constraints associated with the mitigation measures recommended in the EIA Study, as well as the provision of any necessary modification; and

§           Design and specify environmental monitoring and audit requirements to ensure the effective implementation of the recommended environmental protection and pollution control measures.

1.4               Key Environmental Issues and Study Approach

1.4.1             The EIA Study addresses the following key issues:

§           The potential air quality impact to the air sensitive receivers during the demolition/construction and operation stages of the Project;

§           The potential noise impact to the noise sensitive receivers during the demolition/construction and operation stages of the Project;

§           The potential impacts of various types of wastes to be generated from the demolition/construction and operation stages of the Project, in particular the land contamination issues arising from the Project;

§           The potential water quality impact arising from the operation stage of the Project, if there is to be effluent discharge from the new cremators or associated air pollution control/scrubbing systems;

§           The potential landscape and visual impacts caused by the Project during demolition/construction and operation stages;

§           The potential terrestrial ecological impacts arising from the demolition/construction and operation stages of the Project, including the loss of habitats, removal of vegetation and disturbance to wildlife; and

§           The potential cumulative environmental impacts of the Project, through interaction or in combination with other existing, committed and planned developments in the vicinity of the Project, and that those impacts may have a bearing on the environmental acceptability of the Project.

1.4.2             The EIA Study covers the combined impacts of the Project as well as the cumulative impacts of existing, committed and planned developments in the vicinity of the Project for Phases I and II as well as the Future Expansion Phase.

1.4.3             The EIA Report has been prepared in accordance with the requirements stipulated in the Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process (EIAO-TM). This covers relevant project information, relevant legislation, existing environmental conditions, assessment criteria and methods, assessment findings and proposed mitigation measures.

1.5               Structure of EIA Report

1.5.1             This EIA Report consists of the following 12 sections:

§               Section1: Introduction

§               Section2: Project Description

§               Section 3: Air Quality Impact Assessment

§               Section 4: Noise Impact Assessment

§               Section 5: Land Contamination Impact Assessment

§               Section 6: Waste Management Implications

§               Section 7: Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment

§               Section 8: Water Quality Impact Assessment

§               Section 9: Ecological Impact Assessment

§               Section 10: Environmental Outcomes

§               Section 11: Environmental Monitoring and Audit (EM&A) Requirements

§               Section 12: Conclusion and Recommendations

 


2                       Project Description

2.1               The Need and Justification for the Project

Air Emissions from Old Cremators

2.1.1             The existing skeletal and coffin cremators in Wo Hop Shek Crematorium have been in use since 1960’s and 1991, respectively, and are approaching the end of their serviceable life. There have been local concerns on possible air pollution caused by emissions of the existing cremators. As such, the existing cremators should be replaced.

2.1.2             The existing cremators are beyond economic repair and further restoration work is not considered cost-effective or sustainable.

2.1.3             Replacement of the old cremators and provision of additional cremators at the same site will be cost-effective, sustainable and ultimately remove the potential adverse impact on the environment from continued use of the old cremators.

2.1.4             The new cremators are designed to be capable of meeting the newly revised requirements described in “A Guidance Note on the Best Practicable Means for Incinerators (Crematoria)” BPM 12/2 (06).

Insufficient Crematorium Facilities to Meet Rising Public Demand

2.1.5             At present, the Government provides all the crematorium facilities that are open for public use. The number of cremations has been rising steadily in the last 30 years and the existing public cremators in the territory are operating at almost their full capacities. In 2006, out of the total number of deaths of 37,415 in Hong Kong, 32,215 (i.e. 86%) dead bodies were cremated. Although the pledge of undertaking cremation within a maximum waiting time of 15 days after application could be fully met, the present provisions would not be sufficient to cater for any increase in demand of cremation in the coming years.  

2.1.6             The old cremators at Wo Hop Shek should be replaced in the public interest and the capacity of the crematorium facilities should be expanded to meet the increasing public demand.

2.1.7             The current Wo Hop Shek site is already established and the use of an existing site is a more sustainable approach than using a greenfield site. Due to environmental concerns and general public’s resistance against the presence of cremators in their neighbourhood, it is extremely difficult to identify suitable land for crematorium development. It often takes a long lead time to go through the public consultation process while at the same time the demand for new cremation service is rising.

2.1.8             Due to insufficient crematorium facilities to meet rising public demand and the long lead time in developing new sites, it is therefore necessary to allow for maximum flexibility for future expansion at existing crematorium sites, whenever possible. As such, there is a need to reserve space at the Wo Hop Shek Crematorium site to allow for future expansion to meet the future demand for cremations.

2.1.9             In addition, new cremation technology will be deployed to enhance the handling capacity of cremators and to improve the control on air emissions from the cremators.

2.1.10         It is envisaged that the annual cremation capacity of some 40,000 sessions will be available by 2012 upon commissioning of the six new coffin cremators (excluding one skeletal cremator) at Wo Hop Shek (under Phase I development) together with the four cremators to be re-provisioned at Cape Collinson Crematorium. This capacity will be barely adequate to meet the expected cremation demand of around 40,000 sessions at that time.

2.1.11         Improvement in waiting time is not expected until the remaining two cremators at Wo Hop Shek (under the future expansion phase) together with another six cremators at Cape Collinson, are commissioned in 2014. By then, the total annual cremation capacity will be increased to some 50,000 sessions and the waiting time could probably be shortened from the current 15 days to 13 days.

2.1.12         If the existing cremators are not replaced and upgraded in time, or if sufficient numbers of additional cremators are not provided for commissioning by 2012 and 2014, a majority of the applications for cremation sessions will not be met within the present pledge of 15 days. An extended waiting time for the bereaved family would not be acceptable to the community. In addition, it is envisaged that the air quality in the vicinity of the Wo Hop Shek Crematorium cannot be improved and the public concern on air emission cannot be addressed unless and until the new cremation facilities are provided.

2.2               Consideration of Alternative Options

New Sites in More Remote Areas

2.2.1             Alternative project sites within Hong Kong have been considered. These have included more remote locations as it is appreciated that locations in remote areas are less likely to invite public objections. Also, as developments at new sites will not be constrained by existing building structures or establishments, there is more scope for more flexible planning. However, these sites are likely to be non-accessible to the general public.

2.2.2             It is acknowledged that there will be some forms of environmental dis-benefits arising from crematorium developments in new sites. Some of these dis-benefits may include newly-introduced traffic noise, visual impact of a new facility, air emissions, environmental impact due to tree felling, site formation works, construction traffic movements and associated vehicular pollution and noise. Yet, these dis-benefits are either transitional or, when suitably mitigated, should not undermine the development potential of these sites.

2.2.3             Nonetheless, it would take many years to develop adequate supporting transport network and infrastructural facilities in these areas before they are ready for development. Depending on the land use zoning, it would also take time to resolve the non-compatibility of crematorium development with the planning intention of these areas, assuming that they have not previously been zoned for crematoria. As such, new sites in remote areas are not able to meet the current and increasing demand for public cremation service.

Alternative Site at Tuen Mun

2.2.4             The unallocated government land in Tuen Mun Area 46 is zoned for crematorium and columbarium (C&C) development and is probably the only remaining zoned land in Tuen Mun that is not yet developed to its planning intention. The Planning Department advised that it is probably the only suitable new site within Hong Kong for new C&C facilities.

2.2.5             Parts of the site are currently leased to a private operator as a golf driving range and to the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) as a works area and site office. The latter lease will expire by 2009 and so this is a potential site for planning of crematorium development. The Government is considering the possibility of inviting non-Government and/or private sector to participate in C&C developments and it is therefore expected to take time to come to a view. It is likely that the development scale, delivery schedule and mode of operation for any C&C development at this potential site can only be drawn up at a later stage. As such, the site is regarded as a potential site for planning of cremation in the long-term but not at present.

Alternative Extension at Other Existing Crematorium Sites

2.2.6             All the eight cremators at Kwai Chung and Fu Shan Crematoria were replaced by more efficient ones in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Six re-provisioned cremators at Diamond Hill Crematorium were commissioned in June 2007. Plans are in hand to upgrade and provide, by phases, a total of ten new cremators at Cape Collinson Crematorium by 2014. All the existing crematoria have either already been developed to the maximum site utilization (except for the Cheung Chau Crematorium, the usage rate of which has been very low because of accessibility issues), or else have development plans in hand.  Further extension would be hindered by physical constraints. Very limited expansion may be possible at certain sites but would not be sufficient to meet the rising public demand for cremation services.

2.2.7             Human activities and activities relating to the operation of crematoria already exist in these current crematoria sites. The impact on the local environment arising from further extension in these existing sites will therefore be marginal compared with a new development on a greenfield site.

Expansion of the Existing Wo Hop Shek Site

2.2.8             Even if other suitable new sites in the Territory could be identified, it is not expected that new crematorium facilities in these areas could be developed within a short time. On the other hand, the existing Wo Hop Shek Crematorium site is a developed site with the necessary transport network and infrastructure and, notwithstanding a slight expansion of the existing crematorium into adjacent land, is on government land. In other words, the proposed project at the existing site can start at the earliest opportunity, thereby meeting the prime objective of upgrading the cremation service as soon as possible.

2.2.9             As described above, the development of new crematorium facility at a new or remote site would have environmental dis-benefits. By comparison, the impact of such dis-benefits is relatively less significant for development of the existing Wo Hop Shek Crematorium and will result in additional environmental benefits.

2.2.10         Human activities already exist at the current site in Wo Hop Shek and in the vicinity. As such, the impact of the proposed Project on the local environment should only be marginal, compared with a new development on a greenfield site. The presence of a crematorium building and associated chimney will not be new to the Wo Hop Shek area. Given that the nearest air sensitive receivers are located approximately 300m away from the proposed site and the majority of the new crematorium building bulk will be screened by natural topography, the visual impact of the proposed project will not be significant.

2.2.11         The upgrading of the existing Wo Hop Shek Crematorium would not introduce a new source of air emissions into the area, as the site has been used for skeletal and coffin cremation since the 1960’s and 1991, respectively. The existing cremators can only meet old emission standards, whereas new cremators will meet the more stringent new standards. Therefore, the project will result in an environmental benefit in terms of improved control of air emissions. The air quality assessment indicates no unacceptable impact from the expanded facility.

2.2.12         The noise assessment also indicates no adverse noise impact from upgrading the existing Wo Hop Shek Crematorium.

2.2.13         Therefore, the existing cremators should be upgraded at the soonest possible time, addressing the local concerns on air quality, and additional cremators should be made available in the near future to meet the rising public demand for cremation service.

2.2.14         In-situ development to expand the existing Wo Hop Shek Crematorium site to accommodate the re-provisioned / additional cremators under the Project is therefore proposed.

Alternative Extension Options

2.2.15         In addition to the proposed extension arrangement at the existing crematorium site, other possible alternative extension options for the Project have been explored. These include extension to adjacent sites near the existing Wo Hop Shek Crematorium as shown in Figure 2-1, and as briefly described below.

2.2.16         A site to the west of the existing crematorium and skeletal cremator building (Site A) is not considered feasible because it has been allocated as private lots and is not available for public projects. There are also many new graves on site.

2.2.17         A narrow strip of land to the east of the existing crematorium (Site B) is also eliminated because there is insufficient flat area upon which to construct a crematorium. Besides, part of the land will overlap with the larger site at Kiu Tau Road which has been identified for construction of a columbarium, described as a concurrent project under Section 2.8.

2.2.18         Another site to the northeast of the existing site (Site C) was dismissed due to limited access (along an unmade 3.3 metre-wide road). The access road would require widening if this site was chosen. This would have associated additional noise, dust and ecological impact.

2.2.19         The use of alternative in-situ extension arrangements such as retaining of the existing crematorium building to minimise the construction impact, setting back of the building from the main road, locating of chimneys to the opposite ends of the site (Locations A and B) as shown in Figure 2-2, and sinking of the whole building below ground were also explored. However, these options are less preferable in view of the following:

§         Although there will be less environmental impact due to less demolition works, retaining of the existing crematorium is not practicable in view of the additional large building area required to accommodate the air filtration system of the new cremator design. It is not feasible to incorporate the new facilities within the existing building envelope.

§         Setting back of the building from the main road would result in extensive cutting of natural slope at the southern boundary of the site and undesirable disturbance to the existing trees and natural streams abutting the site.

§         Locating the chimneys at the opposite ends either Location A or Location B of the site would make them nearer and visually more conspicuous to the sensitive receivers.

§         A high water table was noted at the development site and so sinking the whole building below ground to reduce visual impact would cause significant engineering difficulties, such as grouting and major dewatering works, which would increase overall environmental impacts.

2.2.20         The topography of Wo Hop Shek Cemetery is rather hilly with a majority of the area already occupied by graves, urns and other existing C&C facilities. Levelled sites within the Cemetery that are sufficiently sized for construction of a crematorium with nine cremators, four service halls and other ancillary facilities are extremely limited. Choice of sites is further restricted as areas up the hillside lack the basic infrastructural provisions such as electricity and water supply and drainage which are essential for early development of the Project. There is also the competing need for sites for construction of additional columbaria. Another site in the Cemetery has already been earmarked for columbarium development described as a concurrent project under Section 2.8. In the circumstances, the existing crematorium site with its boundary suitably extended is considered the only feasible and suitable option to enable early implementation of the Project.

2.2.21         It should be noted that if the proposed crematorium is to be operated from two separate sites with the additional cremators / service halls in a new separate location, operational efficiency will be adversely affected, resulting in inconvenience to the facility users. Furthermore, more sensitive receivers would be affected due to the spreading out of the facilities in two different sites.

2.3               Consideration of Different Transportation Routes

2.3.1             Kiu Tau Road and Ming Yin Road are the major and current access roads to the Site, and will be used for transportation during the demolition/construction and operation stages.

2.3.2             The transportation routes (Route 1 to Route 6) via Kiu Tau Road and Ming Yin Road to and from the Site during construction and operation phases are shown in Figures 2-3 and 2-4.

2.3.3             Wo Ka Lau Road and Wo Hing Road are possible access roads to the Site. However, Kiu Tau Road and Ming Yin Road provide the most direct and shortest routes from either Fanling Highway or Tai Wo Services Road West to the Site. Wo Ka Lau Road and Wo Hing Road will not normally be used as access roads to the Site because they are relatively narrow.

2.3.4             As advised by ArchSD, approximately 15,100m3 of excavated materials will be generated. All the excavated materials will be stockpiled and re-used on site. As the fill requirement for the site formation is approximately 15,300m3, it is anticipated that all excavated materials will be re-used and backfilled on site and approximately 200m3 of fill will need to be imported.

2.3.5             The estimated quantity of C&D materials to be generated is approximately 327 m3. It is estimated that around 90% (294 m3) of the remaining C&D materials generated from the Project will be categorised as public fill and the remainder (33 m3) of the C&D materials will be categorised as C&D waste.

2.3.6             The surplus public fill and C&D waste requiring disposal will be minor and therefore any extra demand on public filling areas and landfills will be minimal. Any potential nuisance, such as noise impact and dust emission from haul vehicles during transportation of the surplus public fill and C&D waste on road is also anticipated to be minimal.

2.3.7             The demolition/construction stage will not result in a significant increase in the traffic volume on the local roads. Vehicles from the south-bound of Fanling Highway can access to the Project Site via Tai Wo Service Road East, Kiu Tau Bridge, Tai Wo Service Road West and Kiu Tau Road (Route 1). Vehicles from the north-bound of Fanling Highway can access the Site via Fanling Highway Slip Road at Wo Hop Shek Interchange and Ming Yin Road (Route 2). Since Kiu Tau Road is accessible to Fanling Highway (both north- and south- bound) via Tai Wo Service Road West (Route 3 and Route 6), this would provide an easier transportation route for vehicles leaving the site as compared with the Ming Yin Road (Route 2 and Route 4) in particular for the heavy-duty vehicles.

2.3.8             During the operation stage, it is anticipated that current transportation routes (Route 1 to Route 6, i.e. Kiu Tau Road and Ming Yin Road), shown in Figures 2-3 and 2-4, will be used as these are the only practicable access routes. The increase in traffic is insignificant when compared with the overall traffic within the Study Area.

2.3.9             Within the Study Area, there are no sensitive receivers along Kiu Tau Road and only some sensitive receivers near Tai Wo Service Road West. There are more sensitive receivers in the vicinity of Wo Hop Shek Interchange. As such, advice will be given to vehicle drivers that Kiu Tau Road (Routes 1, 3, 4 and 6) should be utilised to avoid and minimize environmental nuisance to the sensitive receivers along other routes within the Study Area.

2.3.10         In this regard, administrative measures will be implemented to ensure Routes 1, 3, 4 and 6 will be used as access roads to and from the Site during both construction and operation phases. Requirements will be set out in the contract documents for the demolition and construction contractors, such that Routes 1, 3, 4 and 6 shall be the transportation routes for the demolition and construction works. On the other hand, guidelines on using Routes 1, 3, 4 and 6 as the transportation routes to and from the new crematorium will be provided (via the cremation booking service of FEHD) to the relatives and drivers of hearses and coaches.

2.3.11         The amount of traffic generated solely by the expanded crematorium is expected to be low. Only limited parking (only one coach parking, one private car parking and one mortuary car park are provided for each hall in the new crematorium) is to be provided by the development. As such the public visitors are expected to continue to use buses and coaches as present.

2.3.12         According to the information provided by the Project Proponent, the daily traffic introduced by the Project is estimated to be 97 vehicles (48 hearse, 48 coaches and 1 private car). Assuming these vehicles enter/leave the Site within 8 hours each day, about 12 vehicles per hour will be introduced by the Project. Based on the traffic forecast for the vehicular emission assessment in Section 3 (Annex 3-e), the peak hour traffic flows of Ming Yin Road and Kiu Tau Road will be around 500 vehicles. The variation of traffic flow during the peak hour and off peak hour within the cemetery area is not expected to be significant.

2.3.13         Assuming the off peak hourly traffic flow is about 70% of the peak hour flow, the off peak traffic road of Ming Yin Road and Kiu Tau Road will be around 350 vehicles. Thus, the increase of traffic introduced by the Project is about 7% (24 vehicles including return traffic), and is insignificant as compared with the traffic flows along the major access roads. Therefore, the impact due to the increase of traffic would be insignificant in view of the low traffic flow generated by the new crematorium.

2.4               Selection of Preferred Scenario

2. 4.1           The environmental benefits and dis-benefits of different possible options as detailed in Section 2.2 have been taken into consideration in the selection of the preferred option for the Project. Table 2-1 summarises the environmental benefits and dis-benefits of the afore-mentioned alternative extension options.

 


Extension Options

Environmental Benefits

Environmental Dis-benefits

Reasons for Not Selected as Preferred Option

New sites in more remote areas outside the Wo Hop Shek Cemetery

The development will not be constrained by existing building structures or establishments. There is more scope for more flexible planning.

Main environmental dis-benefits are identified as follows:

1    Depending on site location, potential impact to environment would be imposed on a greenfield site;

2    Vehicular emission and traffic noise brought about by construction traffic movement during construction phase;

3    Traffic noise and vehicular emissions brought about by traffic generated during operation phase;

4    New air emission source into the remote area;

5    Potential visual impact by a new crematorium; and

6    Access road construction, site formation and tree felling work may be involved.

It would take many years to develop adequate supporting transport network and infrastructural facilities in these areas before they are ready for development. Depending on the land use zoning, it would also take time to resolve the non-compatibility of crematorium development proposal with the planning intention of these areas, assuming that they have not previously been zoned for crematoria. Not able to meet the current and increasing demand for public cremation service.

Alternative site at Tuen Mun Area 46

Same as above.

Main environmental dis-benefits are identified as follows:

1    Potential visual impact by a new crematorium;

2    Vehicular emission and traffic noise brought about by construction traffic movement during construction phase;

3    Traffic noise and vehicular emissions brought about by traffic during operation phase; and

4    New air emission source into the area.

Parts of the site are currently on lease as a private golf driving range and an EPD works site. The latter lease will expire by 2009. The Government is considering the possibility of inviting non-Government and/or private sector to participate in C&C developments and it is therefore expected to take time to come to a view. It is likely that the development scale, delivery schedule and mode of operation for any C&C development at this potential site can only be drawn up at a later stage. As such, the site is regarded as a potential site for planning of cremation in the long–term but not at present.

Further extension in other existing crematoria at Kwai Chung, Fu Shan, Diamond Hill and Cape Collinson in addition to the already implemented / being implemented development plans

Human activities and activities relating to the operation of crematoria already exist in these sites. Impact on the local ecosystem arising from further extension will be marginal.

Air and noise emissions to these areas brought about by increasing traffic and cremation emissions will be increased though marginally.

Most of the existing crematoria were developed to the maximum site utilization. Further extension would be hindered by physical constraints. Very limited expansion may be possible at certain sites but not sufficient to meet the rising public demand for cremation service.

Expansion of the existing Wo Hop Shek Site

Site to the west of the existing crematorium site (Site A)

---

---

It has been allocated as private lots and is not available for public project.

 

Narrow strip of land to the east of the existing crematorium (Site B)

Improve local air quality with the replacement of new cremators with advanced emission control technology.

Insufficient flat area and requires extensive site formation works. Generation of noise and air quality impacts during construction.

Part of the site overlaps with the concurrent project site.

Site to the northeast of the existing crematorium (Site C)

Improve local air quality with the replacement of new cremators with advanced emission control technology.

Access road widening will be required. This would have associated noise, air quality and ecological impacts during the construction phase as this site is closer to the sensitive receivers.

The site is smaller and does not meet the requirements.

Expansion by in-situ development of the existing Wo Hop Shek Crematorium Site

Preferred Option in this EIA study

Improve local air quality with the replacement of new cremators with advanced emission control technology. Environmental assessment indicates that there would be no adverse air quality and noise impacts due to the construction and operation of the new crematorium. Human disturbance already exist in the Wo Hop Shek Site, impact of the proposed new crematorium in the current site on the local environment will be marginal.

Some site formation works will be required but environmental impact can be minimised to acceptable levels through mitigation measures.

Not applicable

Alternative in-situ extension arrangements

Retaining of the existing crematorium building

Less demolition works.

This will make the planning of the building inflexible and resulting in a bigger site area required. Consequently, giving rise to a larger extent of construction dust impacts and disturbance to the existing trees.

It is not feasible in view of the additional large building area required to accommodate the air filtration system of the new cremator design. It is not possible to incorporate the new facilities within the existing building envelope.

Setting back of the building from the main road

Emissions and bulk buildings further away from sensitive receivers. However, given the nearest air sensitive receivers are located approximately 330m away from the site and the majority of the building bulk will be screened by natural topography, the benefits will be marginal.

This requires more extensive cutting of natural slope at the southern boundary of the site and undesirable disturbance to the existing trees and natural streams abutting the site.

The dis-benefits will significantly outweigh the minor benefits.

Locating of chimneys to the opposite end of the site (Figure 2-2)

No obvious benefit

This would make the chimneys nearer and visually more conspicuous to the sensitive receivers.

Visual impact to high rise visual sensitive receivers due to existing topography would be imposed if chimneys are located at Location A, as shown in Figure 2-2, and a more bulky appearance viewed from pedestrian level would be caused if chimneys are located at Location B, as shown in Figure 2-2.

Sinking of the whole building below ground

Reduce visual impact to the surrounding. However, given the majority of visual impact will be screened by natural topography, the benefits will be marginal.

Deep basement construction involving grouting and major dewatering works would impose significant engineering difficulties and would increase overall environmental impact during construction phase.

The dis-benefits (in terms of engineering difficulties and environmental impact) will significantly outweigh the minor visual benefits.

Table 2-1          Environmental Benefits and Dis-benefits of Feasible Extension Options

 

 

 


2. 4.2           Based on the findings as described above, the preferred scenario is re-provision of existing cremators and development of additional cremators at the existing Wo Hop Shek Crematorium site by expanding into its adjoining area so that the overall site area can accommodate nine cremators and other ancillary facilities by 2014. It is selected for the following reasons:

§               It is the most suitable option ready for early implementation to meet the current rising demand for cremation service as soon as possible;

§               Human disturbance already exist in the current site and its vicinity, therefore the environmental impact of the expanded project on the local environment is marginal compared with a new development on a greenfield site;

§               In-situ expansion in the existing site has a much less significant environmental impact in regard to introducing a new source of air emission and visual impact of a new crematorium facility to a new site;

§               The existing cremators can be upgraded using the latest cremation technology as soon as possible, thereby addressing the local concern and achieving the environmental benefit of improving the air quality;

§               The existing crematorium site is fully enclosed by hillside and the surrounding landform. This helps to reduce the visual impact to the surrounding sensitive receivers compared to other more urban and open sites; and

§               If the new crematorium were to be operated in two separate sites with the additional cremators / service halls in a new separate location, operational efficiency would be adversely affected, and resulting in inconvenience to the facility users. More sensitive receivers would be affected due to the spreading out of the facilities in two different sites.

2.5               Project Description

2.5.1             The Project seeks to re-provision four existing coffin cremators and one existing skeletal cremator in-situ and to provide four additional coffin / dual-purpose cremators by three phases at the same site.

Project Location

2.5.2             The Project Site is an expanded site of the existing Wo Hop Shek Crematorium. It falls within Wo Hop Shek Cemetery area which has been allocated to FEHD under a Government Land Allocation No. DN 81. The Site does not currently fall into any Outline Zoning Plan or any other relevant plan. As stated in the revised Technical Feasibility Statement (TFS), the Government Property Agency (GPA) has no comment on the Project from the site utilization viewpoint.

2.5.3             The location and boundary of the existing and new crematorium are shown in Figure 2-5.

Development Schedule

2.5.4             The site area of the new crematorium is approximately 9,390 m2. The Gross Floor Area (GFA) is approximately 2,185 m2 with site coverage of approximately 48%. Details of the development schedule is shown in Table 2-2.

Site Area

Approx. 9,390 m2

Gross Floor Area

Approx. 2,185 m2

Site Coverage

Approx. 48% (i.e. approx. 4,500 m2)

Plot Ratio

Approx. 0.23

Permitted Building Height

35 m from mean formation level

Proposed Building Height

Approx. 10.2 m from mean formation level

Number of Chimney Shafts

Two

Chimney Shaft Heights

Approx. 32m and 27m from mean formation level

Table 2-2  Development Schedule

 

2.5.5             Floor plans showing the location, boundary and facilities of the new crematorium are provided in Annex 2-a.

Chimney Location

2.5.6             The chimneys of the new crematorium will be located at south-eastern side of the Site (Location C) as shown in Figure 2-2. This location is as far away as possible from the majority of air sensitive receivers located to the northeast of the Site and thus, the air quality impact could be minimised. On the other hand, chimneys at Location C could be screened off by hillside from the high rise visual sensitive receivers. Moreover, as the chimneys are set back from Kiu Tau Road 40m, they would be further screened off by the crematorium building and would appear to be 10m lower, since the lower portion of chimneys would be embedded in the portion of crematorium building. The air quality and visual impacts are considered to be minimised by locating the chimneys at Location C.

Construction and Demolition Programme

2.5.7             The Project will be carried out in three phases.

Phase I (Year 2009 to Year 2011)

2.5.8             Demolition of the existing coffin crematorium building, transformer room and pump room including the existing coffin cremators;

2.5.9             Construction of one cremation plant room with sufficient space for housing nine single cremators. Provision of five new coffin cremators, one dual-purpose cremator for handling both coffin and skeleton cremations, one new skeletal cremator. The new crematorium will provide seven cremators upon completion of Phase I with an estimated total installed capacity in the region of 890kg/hr to 1,025kg/hr; and

2.5.10         Construction of multi-purpose service halls (3 nos.) for funeral ceremony each with ancillary facilities including clergyman room, waiting room and catafalques for transportation of coffins to the cremator plant room;

2.5.11         Provision of a full range of ancillary facilities required for the operation of a crematorium including:

§               Space for future provision of an additional service hall;

§               One Mortuary;

§               One Bone Storage Room and one Pulverization Room with a bone cremulator and dust proof cabinets;

§               Office accommodation with ancillary facilities such as staff toilets;

§               Building services and E&M installations including (i) coffin transportation and insertion equipment, (ii) anti-burglary devices and anti-bumping devices, (iii) automatic pulverising devices, (iv) CCTV and Public Address system, (v) Mechanical Ventilation and Air Conditioning system, (vi) fire fighting facilities, and (vii) emergency generator;

§               Ancillary service rooms including fork lift re-charging room(s), transformer and switch room(s), emergency generator room, dangerous goods store(s), refuse storage chambers and store room(s) etc;

§               Public Toilets for visitors;

§               Landscaping;

§               Joss Paper Burners;

§               Vehicular access for coffin vans and coaches, etc. to the Crematorium; and

§               Parking spaces.

2.5.12         During the demolition/construction stage of the Project, the existing four coffin cremators will be closed down due to the following reasons:

§               There is no other available flat land with sufficient land space for the construction of the replacement crematorium and thus it has to be built in-situ at the current crematorium site;

§               Extensive site formation works would be required to enlarge the site area if the existing cremators are to remain operational during the construction period. Such site formation works are costly and will inflate the project cost and prolong the construction period;

§               It is not advisable on site safety and management grounds to open a venue for public use when construction works are underway; and

§               With the commissioning of new cremators at Kwai Chung Crematorium in 2003, Fu Shan Crematorium in 2004 and Diamond Hill Crematorium in 2007, service need at Wo Hop Shek Crematorium during the construction period will be temporarily met by adjusting the operating hours of these crematoria as and when required.

2.5.13         The skeletal cremator will remain in operation during Phase I construction stage but will cease operation upon commencement of the testing and commissioning (T&C) stage for the seven new cremators.

Phase II (Year 2012)

2.5.14         After the satisfactory commissioning of the new cremators under Phase I, the existing skeletal cremator building will be demolished and landscaping works for the Site will be provided. Phase I will be completed prior to commencement of Phase II. No overlapping of construction/demolition works between Phases I and II will occur.

Future Expansion Phase (For completion by around 2014)

2.5.15         Installation of two additional coffin cremators in the cremator plant room and the construction of one additional service hall will be allowed for future expansion. The estimated total installed capacity of the two new cremators will be approximately 360kg/hr.

2.6               Benefits of the Project

2.6.1             The major benefits of the Project include the following:

§               The existing cremators can be upgraded within the shortest possible time to, address the local concern on air emissions;

§               Replacement of the existing crematorium by a new one with cremators of improved design and Air Pollution Control (APC) technologies would improve the air quality in the vicinity of the Wo Hop Shek Cemetery;

§               In order to further reduce emissions of air pollutants from fuel combustion, thereby to be more environmentally-friendly, Towngas has been selected as burning fuel for the new cremators instead of ULSD which has been using for existing cremators, despite the higher operation cost of using Towngas; and

§               The Project will help meet the increasing public demand for cremation service. The total annual public cremation capacity in the territory will be increased by 2014 and this will ensure that the current pledge of a maximum waiting time of 15 days be met.

2.7               Cremation Technology

2.7.1             Cremation is commonly adopted as a means to dispose of the dead. Cremation is a process of burning the dead body at high temperature to decompose organic matters. Incombustibles, such as bone ash would remain after cremation. A complete cremation normally takes about two to two and a half hours. During cremation, exhaust flue gas, containing air pollutants, is discharged into the surrounding air after passing through APC equipment. In recent years, cremators have been designed with two combustion chambers, namely the primary chamber and secondary chamber, to enhance the combustion efficiency and to reduce air pollutant emissions.

2.7.2             Cremators of flat-bed type and free falling type are most commonly used, due to their high combustion efficiency. High combustion efficiency cremators enhance the decomposition of organic matter more completely, and consequently reducing emissions of air pollutants generated from the cremation process.

2.7.3             Flat-bed cremators consist of a furnace slide door, primary combustion chamber, secondary combustion chamber, a cease-burning chamber and an ash cooling zone. The combustion chambers are made of high quality fire-bricks and insulating materials. The primary and secondary chambers are located one on top of the other in a compact configuration, achieving optimum heat exchange between the two combustion chambers.

2.7.4             Free-falling cremators consist of a primary combustion chamber at a higher level and a secondary chamber at a lower level. The “cremains” (a portmanteau of "cremated" and "remains”) will fall from the primary chamber to the secondary chamber (cremains collection chamber). When the cremains are transferred to the secondary combustion chamber, another coffin can be fed into the primary chamber for cremation. The operations of the primary and secondary combustion chambers are independent.

2.7.5             The selection of cremation technology to be adopted will be subject to the tendering process. Notwithstanding, the new cremators will be designed with equivalent specifications as the recent crematoria projects at Fu Shan and Diamond Hill, with adoption of the latest technology for flue gas filtering and emission monitoring. The new cremators will be fully capable of meeting all the BPM12/2 (06) requirements, at full load conditions.

Design of the Cremators

2.7.6             A total of nine cremators will be provided in the new crematorium. Seven cremators will be of 170kg capacity and the remaining two cremators will be of 100kg and 250kg capacity. The total operating capacity of the cremators will be about 1.385 tonnes/hour under full load conditions. As confirmed by ArchSD, the design of the new cremators will make reference to the cremators at the new Fu Shan Crematorium and Diamond Hill Crematorium. The flue gas volumetric flow rates of the 170kg and 250kg cremators are 2500m3/hour (at 6.3% oxygen, 15.5% moisture, 200oC) and 4,600m3/hour (at 11% oxygen, 12.7% moisture, 200oC), respectively. As ArchSD is still in the process of developing the design with the suppliers, there is currently no detailed information of the volumetric flow rate for the 100kg skeletal cremator. As agreed with ArchSD and FEHD, it has been assumed that the volumetric flow rate of 100kg skeletal cremator to be the same as 170kg cremator as the worst-case scenario.

2.7.7             Based on the findings of a fuel study carried out during the preliminary design stage for cremator installation, average air pollutants emissions data of the Kwai Chung Crematorium and Fu Shan Crematorium using ULSD and Towngas respectively could meet all the BPM12/2(06) emissions requirements. However, in order to further reduce emissions of air pollutants from fuel combustion, and thereby to be more environmentally-friendly, the Project Proponent has selected Towngas as burning fuel, instead of ULSD despite the higher operation cost of using Towngas.

2.7.8             Chimney diameters will be 0.22m for 100kg and 170kg cremators and 0.3m for 250kg cremator. The design efflux velocity at full load condition will comply with the minimum requirement of 10m/s as required in BPM12/2(06). Nine chimneys will be grouped into two stacks and the chimney heights of two groups are 32m and 27m above local ground level.  The locations of chimneys are shown in Figure 2-5.

2.7.9             The temperature of the combustion gas from the primary combustion zone will be raised to 850oC (after the last injection of combustion air) in a controlled and homogeneous fashion such that even under the most unfavourable conditions at least two seconds residence time in the secondary combustion zone is achieved in the presence of at least 6% oxygen.

2.7.10         Although the final selection of cremators would be subject to open tendering procedure, the performance and specifications of the new cremators shall fully comply with the BPM12/2(06).

2.8               Air Pollution Control Technology

2.8.1             Air pollutants, such as particulate matter, heavy metals, organic gases, acidic gases, dioxins, etc., will be generated by the combustion process within the flue emissions from the new crematorium. Installation of an APC equipment is required to reduce the emissions of such air pollutants to acceptable levels. Applicable APC technologies are described below.

Wet Scrubbing

2.8.2             Wet scrubbing removes air pollutants in flue gas through dissolution and chemical absorption by scrubbing solution. The solution may be water or other chemical solutions. Common scrubbing solutions include sodium hydroxide, acidified potassium permanganate, hypochlorite and other acidic solutions.

Carbon Injection

2.8.3             Carbon injection removes organic air pollutants in flue gas. Fine charcoal powder is injected into the flue gas ducting and organic air pollutants in flue gas adsorbed by the charcoal powder. The fine charcoal powder is then collected with bag filter. This technology is commonly adopted to control the emissions of dioxins and is a dry APC process.

Neutralization with Chemicals

2.8.4             Neutralization is adopted if the flue gas is highly acidic or alkaline. For acidic gases, neutralization is accomplished by spraying of lime or soda lime solution to the flue gas. Inorganic acids are usually used to neutralize highly alkaline flue gas. Spray nozzle or jet nozzles are used to spray neutralizing solution to the flue gas stream.

Electrostatic Precipitation

2.8.5             Electrostatic precipitators are used to collect fine particulate matter in flue gas. The electrostatic precipitator maintains an electric field of several kilowatts to charge up the fine particulates. The charged particulates are collected with the oppositely charged collector plates. Collected particulates are easily handled and disposed of. This is a dry APC process.

Bag Filters

2.8.6             Bag filters are commonly adopted to collect particulate matter. Particulate matter is collected in the filter medium. The filter bags may be made of cotton or fabric material. This is a dry APC process.

Rapid Quenching

2.8.7             Dioxin formation and reformation is known to occur at low combustion temperatures, in the range of  200 to 450OC, when there is sufficient residence time. At this temperature, atoms of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and chlorine re-combine to form dioxins, as these are the most thermodynamically favourable chemical species – this is the dioxin “formation window”. To minimise this window, and hence minimise the potential for dioxin formation, the latest combustion technology will be used, which is rapid quenching to <200OC in a very short period (two seconds or less) to cool down the flue gas.             

Flue Gas Cleaning System to be Adopted in the New Crematorium

2.8.8             After passing through the heat exchanger, the flue gas will be rapidly quenched to minimise the formation of dioxins and will enter the flue gas filtering plant, such that specific pollutants in the gas stream will be trapped. The flue gas filtering plant comprises a cyclone (for separation of large particles and sparks in the flue gas downstream of heat exchanger), a chemical addition system (with calcium hydroxide and furnace coke for neutralizing acidic pollutants such as hydrogen chloride and removing dioxin radicals in flue gas stream), a conditioning rotor (for recycling unused additives) and a flat bag filter (for filtering out fine carbon particulates with compressed air jet).

2.8.9             To further enhance the environmental performance of new cremators against emission of mercury and residual dioxins, chemo-absorption equipment using non-toxic additives is under design and will be added downstream of the flat bed filter, whenever practicable, to ensure compliance with emission limits as stipulated in BPM12/2 (06).

2.9               Interactions with Other Projects

2.9.1             According to the latest plan, there will be one concurrent project, under preliminary planning, to be constructed and operated in the vicinity of the Project. Subject to the outcome of the feasibility study, it is planned to construct a new columbarium of about 30,000 to 40,000 niches plus a garden of remembrance (GoR) at Kiu Tau road. The proposed project is to meet the public demand for niches and to provide a new-style Garden of Remembrance (GoR) for wider and environmentally-friendly use as an alternative to disposing the ashes in the columbaria. Tentatively, construction of the work will commence in 2010 and scheduled for completion in 2012.

2.9.2             Figure 2-6 shows the location of the concurrent project in the vicinity of Wo Hop Shek Crematorium.


3                       Air Quality Impact Assessment

3.1               Introduction

3.1.1             This Section details the air quality impact assessment for the construction, demolition and operation phases of the Project.

3.1.2             Impacts due to fugitive dust from the demolition and construction activities and gaseous emissions from the cremators during operation phases may affect air sensitive receivers in the vicinity of the Site. Cumulative impacts due to interactions with concurrent projects during the construction phases and vehicular emission during the operation phases are also addressed.

3.2               Project Background

3.2.1             The existing Wo Hop Shek Crematorium is a coffin crematorium with two twin cremators. A skeletal cremator building with a single cremator operates nearby for the cremation of skeletal remains from burial. The skeletal cremator and the coffin cremators were commissioned in the 1960’s and 1991, respectively. As the five existing cremators are approaching the end of their serviceable life, replacement is required to up-grade the cremation facilities. The opportunity is also taken to provide two more cremators under the same project to meet the increasing demand for cremation services. Moreover, to allow flexibility for future expansion, space would be reserved in the same site for the provision of two more cremators.

3.2.2             The Project will be separated into three phases, namely Phase I, Phase II and Future Expansion Phase. Phase I will include demolition of the existing coffin crematorium and its associated facilities, construction of main facilities of the new crematorium and provision of ancillary facilities required for the operation of a crematorium. Upon completion of Phase I, there will be five coffin cremators, one dual-purpose cremator and one skeletal cremator. The estimated maximum cremation capacity of these seven cremators will be approximately 1,025kg/hr. During Phase I construction works, the four existing coffin cremators will be closed down. The existing skeletal cremator will remain in operation but will cease operation upon commencement of the testing and commissioning (T&C) stage for the seven new cremators.

3.2.3             Phase II will include demolition of the existing skeletal cremator building after the satisfactory commissioning of the new replacement under Phase I and provision of landscaping for the Site.

3.2.4             Future Expansion Phase include installation of two additional cremators in the cremation plant room and one additional service hall. The estimated maximum cremation capacity of these two cremators will be approximately 360kg/hr.

3.2.5             The total maximum operating capacity of the nine cremators will be 1.385 tonne/hr, which exceeds the exempted capacity (0.5tonne/hr) of Specified Process – Incinerators under Part IV of the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO). Thus, a Specified Process (SP) license for the operation of the new cremators will be required.

3.2.6             Air pollutants, such as particulate matter, heavy metals, organic gases, acidic gases, dioxins, etc., will be emitted from the cremation process. Dioxins are highly toxic and are suspected to be carcinogenic to humans. Special APC equipment shall be installed to reduce the emissions of these air pollutants to acceptable levels.

3.2.7             Although the design of the new crematorium is still in progress, it has been confirmed that dry type APC units will be adopted.

3.2.8             Apart from nine new cremators, there will be four joss paper burners. Air pollutants will be emitted from joss paper burning, potentially affecting the nearby environment.

3.3               Air Quality Legislation, Policies, Plans, Standards and Criteria

3.3.1             The criteria for evaluating air quality impacts and the guidelines for air quality assessment are laid out in Annexes 4 and 12, respectively of the EIAO-TM. “A Guidance Note on the Best Practicable Means for Incinerators (Crematoria) BPM12/2 (September 2006)” (BPM 12/2) governs the stack emission of the Project.

3.3.2             The Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO) provides the statutory authority for controlling air pollutants from a variety of sources. The Hong Kong Air Quality Objectives (AQOs) stipulate the maximum allowable concentrations for typical pollutants, of which total suspended particulates (TSP), respirable suspended particulates (RSP), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) are relevant to this EIA Study. The relevant AQOs are listed in Table 3-1.

Pollutant

Concentration, mg/m3 (1)
Averaging Time

1 Hour(2)

8 Hours(3)

24 Hours(3)

1 Year (5)

Sulphur Dioxide

800

 

350

80

Total Suspended Particulates(5)

 

 

260

80

Respirable Suspended Particulates(5)

 

 

180

55

Nitrogen Dioxide

300

 

150

80

Carbon Monoxide

30,000

10,000

 

 

Notes:

1.     Measured at 298K (25ºC) and 101.325 kPa (one atmosphere).

2.     Not to be exceeded more than three times per year.

3.     Not to be exceeded more than once per year.

4.     Arithmetic means.

5.     Respirable suspended particulates means suspended particles in air with a nominal aerodynamic diameter of 10 micrometres and smaller.

Table 3-1      List of Relevant Hong Kong Air Quality Objectives

 

3.3.3             The EIAO-TM stipulates that the construction dust impact assessment should not lead to an hourly TSP level exceeding 500mg/m3 (measured at 25oC and one atmosphere pressure). Mitigation measures for construction sites have been specified in the Air Pollution Control (Construction Dust) Regulation.

3.3.4             In accordance with the EIAO-TM, odour level at a sensitive receiver shall not exceed 5 odour units (OU) based on an average time of 5 seconds for odour prediction assessment.

3.3.5             Under the Air Pollution Control (Specified Process) Regulation, an incinerator (including cremator) with an installed capacity exceeding 0.5 tonnes per hour, is classified as a specified process, and requires a Specified Process license to operate.

3.3.6             “A Guidance Note on the Best Practical Means for Incinerators (Crematoria)” BPM12/2 (06) published by the EPD sets out the basic requirement for providing and maintaining the best practicable means for the prevention of the emission of air pollutants from crematoria classified as SP. BPM12/2 (06) specifies the emission limits of air pollutants from the cremation process as shown in Table 3-2.

Air Pollutants

(One-hourly average value except for mercury and dioxins)

Concentration Limit(1)

Particulates

40 mg/m3

Gaseous and vaporous organic substances, expressed as total organic carbon

20 mg/m3

Hydrogen chloride (HCL)

30 mg/m3

Carbon monoxide (CO)

100 mg/m3

Mercury and its compounds, expressed as mercury (Hg)(2)

0.05 mg/m3

Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans(2)

0.1 ng I-TEQ/m3

Notes:

1.     All pollutant concentrations are expressed at reference conditions of 273K, 101.325kPa, 11% O2 and dry conditions.

2.     Average time of mercury and dioxins emissions limit: a minimum of three complete cremation cycles or the requisite number of complete cremation cycles to cover a minimum period of six hours, whichever is the longer duration.   

Table 3-2   Concentration Limits for Emission from Cremators

3.3.7             The APCO also provides legislative control on the removal of asbestos-containing materials. Under the APCO, the owner of premises which contain, or are reasonably suspected of containing, asbestos containing material shall engage a registered asbestos consultant to carry out an asbestos investigation report (AIR). If asbestos containing material is found, an asbestos abatement plan (AAP) must be submitted to EPD at least 28 days before the commencement of the asbestos abatement work. EPD endorses the AIR and AAP prepared in accordance with the relevant codes of practice by the registered asbestos consultant. The AAP specifies the proper asbestos abatement procedure that has incorporated mitigation measures to check the asbestos fibre release and hence to minimises the potential impact. Moreover, the APCO requires registered professionals to supervise, audit and air-monitor the asbestos abatement work.

3.3.8             For air pollutants not established under the APCO or EIAO, the standards stipulated by recognised international organizations, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) or United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) are adopted.

3.3.9             Chronic and acute criteria for toxic air pollutants from international organizations, including WHO, USEPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) are also adopted. Dioxins, hydrogen chloride (HCl) and mercury (Hg) are also the concerned toxic air pollutants of concern in this EIA study. The acute/chronic criteria of these toxic air pollutants are shown in Table 3-3.

Parameter

Unit

Criteria

1-hour

Annual

Dioxins

pg I-TEQ/m3

N/A

1(1)

HCL

mg/m3

2,100(2)

20(3)

Hg

mg/m3

1.8(2)

1(4)

Notes:

1.   Primary Ambient Air Quality Standard for Dioxin, Department of Environmental Protection, State of Connecticut, USA, http://dep.state.ct.us/air2/regs/mainregs.htm.

2.   Reference Exposure Limits, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California, USA

3.   Integrated Risk Information System, USEPA.

4.   WHO Air Quality Guideline.

Table 3-3   Chronic and Acute Criteria for Toxic Air Pollutants

3.3.10         Health risk guidelines that make reference to WHO, USEPA and CARB are used as the air quality criteria for the health risk of toxic air pollutants. Cancer risk guidelines for the assessment of health risk from exposures to toxic air pollutants as referred to CARB are shown in Table 3-4.

Acceptability of Cancer Risk

Estimated Individual Lifetime Cancer Risk Level*

Significant

>10-4

Risk shall be reduced to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP)

>10-6 – 10-4

 

Insignificant

10-6

Note: *The estimated individual lifetime cancer risk level is assumed as 70 years as recommended by WHO.

Table 3-4   Health Risk Guidelines for Exposure to Toxic Air Pollutants

3.4               Description of Existing Environment

3.4.1             The project site is at the existing Wo Hop Shek Crematorium. It falls within the Wo Hop Shek Cemetery area which has been allocated to FEHD under a Government Land Allocation No. DN 81. The site does not currently fall into any Outline Zoning Plan or any other relevant plan. As stated in the revised Technical Feasibility Study (TFS), the Government Property Agency (GPA) has no comment on the Project from the site utilization viewpoint.

3.4.2             According to the Study Brief, the study area of the air quality impact assessment is 1km from the site boundary of the Project. The location and boundary of the existing and new crematorium and the study area are shown in Figure 3-1.

3.4.3             The nearest air quality monitoring station to the Project site is Tai Po air monitoring station. The available monitoring results of different air pollutants of the past five years are summarized in Table 3-5.

Pollutant

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

Average

Sulphur Dioxide, SO2 (1) (mg/m3)

19

19

N/A

14

11

13

15

Nitrogen Dioxide, NO2 (1) (mg/m3)

57

49

N/A

52

48

50

51

Carbon Monoxide, CO (2) (mg/m3)

581

660

661

N/A

783

1,051

747

Total Suspended Particulates, TSP (1) (mg/m3)

66

61

N/A

71

61

68

65

Respirable Suspended Particulates, RSP (1) (mg/m3)

51

51

N/A

54

46

50

50

Dioxins (2) (pg l-TEQ/ m3)

0.066

0.071

0.055

0.071

0.063

0.055

0.064

Mercury, Hg (mg/m3)

-

-

-

-

-

-

0.00022(3)

Notes:

1.     Monitoring data of SO2, NO2, TSP and RSP from Tai Po Station are presented.

2.     There were only two monitoring stations for toxic air pollutants monitoring, i.e. Central/Western station and Tsuen Wan station, and no monitoring data of CO from Tai Po Station. Comparing the two stations, the topographical features of Tsuen Wan is more similar to Fanling. Therefore monitoring data of dioxins and CO from Tsuen Wan station were presented.

3.     Air quality monitoring data from Air Quality in Hong Kong 2000 by EPD.

Source: Air Quality in Hong Kong, EPD, HKSAR

Table 3-5   Background Air Pollutant Concentration

 

3.4.4             With reference to the Outline Zoning Plans of Fanling / Sheung Shui, Lung Yeuk Tak & Kwan Tei South and Kau Lung Hang (Nos. S/FSS/14, S/NE-LYT/12 and S/NE-KLH/11), land uses within the study area include Residential (Group A) (R(A)), Village Type Development (V), Industrial (I), Government, Institution or Community (G/IC), Open Space (O), Other Specified Uses (OU) and Green Belt (GB). Apart from the study area falling within the OZP, other land uses within the study area include villages, public transport (e.g. Fanling Highway and the former Kowloon-Canton Railway line), cemetery and crematorium.

3.4.5             Table 3-6 lists the identified Air Sensitive Receivers (ASRs) within the study area and Figure 3-1 shows the ASRs within the study area.

3.4.6             Apart from the ASRs identified in Table 3-6, there are two G/IC zones found within the study area according to the Fanling/Sheung Shui OZP No. S/FSS/14 (April 2007) and approved Kau Lung Hang OZP No. S/NE-KLH/11 (October 2006) and are shown in Figure 3-1. There is currently no information of any planned development in these zones. However, according to “uses always permitted” under Column 1 of the OZPs, these two possible G/IC zones could be ASRs and they are included in Table 3-6.

ID

Name of ASR

Zonings on OZP

Type of Sensitive Receivers

OZP Nos.

No. of Storey

Local Ground Level, mPD

Distance from the Site Boundary

A1

Yung Shing Court

R(A)

High-rise residential buildings

S/FSS/14

40

25.5

920

A2

S W Chan Memorial College

G/IC

Education

S/FSS/14

6

26

970

A3

Pentecostal Yu Leung Fat Primary School

G/IC

Education

S/FSS/14

6

25.5

860

A4

Cheong Shing Court

R(A)

High-rise residential buildings

S/FSS/14

40

26

820

A5

Yan Shing Court

R(A)

High-rise residential buildings

S/FSS/14

35

21

940

A6

Wai Ming Street Garden

O

Landscape Garden

S/FSS/14

N/A

22

960

A7

Wah Ming Estate

R(A)

High-rise residential buildings

S/FSS/14

32

22

550

A8

Wa Mei Shan Village

V & GB

Village house

S/FSS/14

1

28

670

A9

Pak Fok Tin Sum Playground

O

Landscape Garden with Children Playground

S/FSS/14

N/A

22

1170

A10

Fung Kai Liu Yun Sum Secondary School

R(A)

Education

S/FSS/14

6

22

840

A11

King Shing Court

R(A)

High-rise residential buildings

S/FSS/14

38

19

940

A12

Fong Shu Chuen Primary School

R(A)

Education

S/FSS/14

6

22

660

A13

Flora Plaza

R(A)

High-rise residential buildings

S/FSS/14

38

22

710

A14

Ma Kam Ming College

G/IC

Education

S/FSS/14

6

24

600

A15

Buddhist Ching Kok Lin Association School

G/IC

Education

S/FSS/14

6

19

880

A16

Fanling Assembly of God Church Primary School

G/IC

Education

S/FSS/14

6

20

650

A17

Avon Park

R(A)

High-rise residential buildings

S/FSS/14

25

18

820

A18

Dawning Views

R(A)

High-rise residential buildings

S/FSS/14

29

20

640

A19

Wah Sum Estate

R(A)

High-rise residential buildings

S/FSS/14

36

19

650

A20

Fanling Government Secondary School

G/IC

Education

S/FSS/14

6

18.2

660

A21

Wo Hing Indoor Recreation Centre

G/IC

Active Recreation Uses

S/FSS/14

1

20

580

A22a

Wo Hop Shek San Tsuen

V

Village Houses

S/FSS/14

3

29

330

A22b

Wo Hop Shek San Tsuen

V

Village Houses

S/FSS/14

3

28

300

A23

Wo Hing Tsuen

V

Village Houses

S/FSS/14

3

18

440

A24

Wo Him School

V

Education

S/FSS/14

1

24.1

340

A25

Regalia Villa

V

Village House

S/FSS/14

3

14.3

530

A26

Tong Hang

AGR

Village Houses

S/NE-LYT/12

1

20

790

A27

Tong Hang Tung Chuen

ARG

Village Houses

S/NE-LYT/12 & S/NE-KLH/11

1

18

800

A28a

Nam Wa Po

V

Village Houses

S/NE-KLH/11

3

34

670

A28b

Nam Wa Po

V

Village Houses

S/NE-KLH/11

3

25

910

A29

Kiu Tau

AGR

Village Houses

S/NE-KLH/11

1

18

700

A30

Kau Lung Hang San Wai

ARG

Village Houses

S/NE-KLH/11

3

21.5

830

A31

Yuen Leng

ARG

Village Houses

S/NE-KLH/11

1

27

1010

A32

N/A

G/IC

N/A

S/FSS/14

N/A

23

315

A33*

N/A

G/IC

N/A

S/NE-KLH/11

N/A

19

655

Notes: N/A – Not Available

* Information provided by Planning Department indicates that this G/IC site mainly serves the waterworks installation thereat.

Table 3-6   Air Sensitive Receivers within the Study Area

3.4.7             The new cremators, which are designed with equivalent specifications as for the recent crematoria projects at Fu Shan and Diamond Hill and adopt the latest technology for flue gas filtering and emission monitoring, are capable meeting all the BPM12/2 (06) requirements, at full load conditions. Compared to the existing crematorium and skeletal cremator, of which no APC units are equipped and no statutory air pollutants emission limits are required to comply with, the air pollutant emissions from the new crematorium would be much lower than the existing crematorium and skeletal cremator.

3.4.8             Air emission data of the existing crematorium are not available as there is no requirement for regular air pollutant emission measurement for the existing cremators. Nevertheless, a qualitative comparison of the existing and new cremators in terms of cremator design, control of air pollutant emissions, monitoring requirement and type of fuel used for cremation process is given in Table 3-7.

Item

Existing Cremators

New Cremators

Cremator Design

Combustion chambers

Primary Chamber Only

Primary, and Secondary Chamber

Combustion temperature

Around 800oC

850oC at Secondary Chamber

Monitoring of sufficient combustion air in combustion zone

Nil

Continuous monitoring of temperature

Control of Air Pollutant Emissions

APC equipment

Nil

Flue gas filtering plant comprises of a cyclone, a chemical addition system, a conditioning rotor and a flat bag filter will be installed to treat the flue gas before discharge to the air.

A chemo-absorption equipment with non-toxic additives is under design and will be installed downstream of the flat bed filter whenever practicable to enhance the control of emissions of mercury and dioxins.

Design of Chimney

Locating of chimneys as far as possible from the air sensitive receiver and maximizing the height of chimneys to optimize the dispersion of air pollutants.

Monitoring Requirements

Emission monitoring

Nil

Continuous monitoring of temperature, oxygen content, CO and gas opacity will be carried out.

Periodic measurement of particulates, hydrogen chloride, carbon monoxide, gaseous and vaporous organic substances, mercury and dioxins will be carried out.

Compliance with BPM emission limits

Not applicable

Comply with BPM 12/2 (06)

Fuel for Cremation Process

Diesel

Towngas

Table 3-7    Comparison of Existing and New Cremators

 

3.4.9             The above table demonstrates that the new cremators are of better design and equipped with improved APC equipment. In addition, the BPM12/2 (06) requirements will be fully complied with. Monitoring requirements as set out in BPM12/2 (06) will be carried out to ensure the cremation process is properly operated and the air pollutant emissions can be minimized to meet the air emission limits. Thus, it is anticipated that the existing environment will be much improved in terms of the air quality related to the emissions from the new crematorium, compared to the existing crematorium.

3.5               Air Pollution Sources

Existing Pollution Sources

3.5.1             The major existing pollution sources within the study area are the vehicular emissions from public roads, such as Fanling Highway and Pak Wo Road. Although the area located to the east of Wo Hop Shek San Tsuen is zoned as “Industrial”, there are mainly small-scale industrial activities, such as stone factories for the carving and trimming of gravestone, and garages. Air pollution from these industrial activities is insignificant.

Construction Phase of the Project

3.5.2             The tentative time frame for the construction work is as follows:

§               Phase I: Year 2009 to Year 2011

§               Phase II: Year 2012

§               Future Expansion Phase: Year 2012 to Year 2014 (tentative programme only subject to the review on the needs of the cremation capacity in the future)

3.5.3             Fugitive dust emission is anticipated when the following activities are undertaken:

§               Phase I: Demolition of existing crematorium, site clearance, excavation, foundation works, material handling, wind erosion and emission from skeletal cremator; and

§               Phase II: Demolition of existing skeletal cremator, site clearance, material handling and wind erosion.

§               Future Expansion Phase: Excavation, foundation works, site formation works, material handling and wind erosion.

3.5.4             Dust containing dioxins contaminated materials, which are potentially concentrated in chimneys, flue and cremators, will be emitted to the air if removal and handling of dioxins contaminated materials are not carried out properly during demolition works.

3.5.5             Phase II will only include the demolition of the existing small skeletal cremator room and cremator where fugitive dust is the major air pollutant. If general dust control measures are implemented, fugitive dust impact during Phase II will be insignificant in view of the small-scale demolition works. If dioxin-contaminated materials are found inside the chimney, flue gas piping or cremator, special removal/handling of dioxins contaminated materials will be implemented. Details of sampling and testing of the dioxins contaminated materials and removal/handling of such materials is provided in Section 6.

3.5.6             The Future Expansion Phase will include the provision of two additional coffin cremators to the space reserved inside the cremator plant room and the construction of an additional single storey service hall of approximately 300m2. As no deep foundation will be required, construction dust impact is anticipated to be insignificant with the implementation of standard air pollution control measures.

3.5.7             The existing skeletal cremator will remain in operation during Phase I construction stage but will cease operation upon commencement of the T&C stage.

Concurrent Projects

3.5.8             According to the latest plan, there will be one concurrent project under preliminary planning to be constructed and operated in the vicinity of the Study Area of the Project. Subject to the outcome of the feasibility study, it is planned to construct a new columbarium of about 30,000 to 40,000 niches plus a GoR at Kiu Tau Road. The proposed project is to meet the public demand for niches and to provide a new style GoR for wider use as an alternative to disposing the ashes in the columbaria. Tentatively, construction of the work will commence in 2010 and is scheduled for completion in 2012.

3.5.9             Figure 3-2 shows the location and site area of the abovementioned concurrent project within the study area.

Operation Phase

3.5.10         With reference to BPM12/2 (06), major air pollutant emissions of concern from the cremation process are particulates, hydrogen chloride, carbon monoxide, total organic carbon, mercury and dioxins.

3.5.11         As Towngas will be used as the primary burning fuel for the new cremators, the other air pollutant of concern will be nitrogen dioxide. Moreover, sulphur dioxide generated from the combustion of coffins and matter inside the coffins may be of concern.

3.5.12         Thus, the gaseous emissions from the operation of the proposed crematorium (with nine cremators in total) in this assessment includes particulates, hydrogen chloride, carbon monoxide, total organic carbon, mercury, dioxins, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide.

3.5.13         Vehicular emissions including particulates, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide from Fanling Highway are the other major air pollutant emission sources within the study area.

3.5.14         In order to provide a better understanding of the air pollution sources within the study area, chimney emission information within the study area was obtained from EPD. Information from EPD shows that except for the chimneys from the existing crematorium, there are no other chimneys in the vicinity (1,000m) of the crematorium.

3.5.15         Furthermore, a site survey was carried out on 5 November 2007 to confirm the validity of the information mentioned above. Apart from the chimneys of the existing coffin cremators and skeletal cremator at Wo Hop Shek Crematorium, no other chimney was identified during the site survey.

3.5.16         Subject to the needs of future expansion, air pollutants would be emitted from a maximum of nine cremators.

3.5.17         During the operation phase, odour generated from the dead bodies and cremation process may affect the nearby ASRs.

3.5.18         In addition, air pollutant emission will be generated from the joss paper burning activities in the proposed crematorium.

3.5.19         As APC equipment will be installed to remove air pollutants from the new columbarium under a preliminary plan at Kiu Tau Road, the effect of air pollutant emission would be insignificant.

3.6               Assessment Methodology

Construction Phase of the Project

3.6.1             The Industrial Source Complex Short-Term (ISCST3) developed by USEPA was used for the simulation of the dispersion of construction dust within the study area.

3.6.2             The emission factors of fugitive dust were determined with reference to the Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors, USEAP AP-42, 5th Edition, published by USEPA in January 1995.

3.6.3             The emission factors of 2.69 Mg/hectare/month for general construction activities which will generate fugitive dust and 0.85 Mg/hectare/year for wind erosion of open site as provided in USEPA AP-42 Chapter 13 and Chapter 11, respectively, were adopted for estimating the emission rates of construction dust. The general construction activities, which will generate fugitive dust, include demolition, site clearance, excavation works, foundation works, handling of dusty materials. These emission factors were applied to both construction sites of the proposed crematorium and the planned columbaria in order to assess the cumulative dust impact.

3.6.4             The emission rates were determined with the assumption that there will be 30 working days a month with 12 working hours per day for general construction activities and 365 days a year with 24 hours of dust emission for wind erosion.

3.6.5             Thus, the emission rates were estimated to be 2.076x10-4 g/s/m2 and 2.695x10-6 g/s/m2 for general construction activities and wind erosion respectively.

3.6.6             Meteorological data monitored at King’s Park (for the information of mixing height only) and Ta Kwu Ling weather stations of Hong Kong Observatory for the year 2006 were input into the air quality model.

3.6.7             Throughout the construction period of Phase I, the existing skeletal cremator will remain in operation. However, its operation will be ceased upon commencement of the T&C phase of the new cremators. The emission from the skeletal cremator was taken into account for the dust impact during the construction of the proposed crematorium under Phase I.

3.6.8             In order to estimate the emission rate of particulates from the skeletal cremator, air samples were taken from the existing chimney of the skeletal cremator and the flue gas flow rate was measured throughout November 2006. A temporary chimney extension that complies with USEPA Method 2 was built side by side with the existing chimney and connected to the cremator. A cap was placed at the outlet of the existing chimney so that all flue gas from the cremator was emitted via the new temporary chimney. Volumetric flow rate measurement at the new chimney was carried out and the isokinetic condition was ascertained.

3.6.9             Three air samples were collected with one each for the three skeletal processes. Each skeletal process lasted for about 120 minutes. Samples were sent to the HOKLAS laboratory for analysis of the concentration of particulate matter.

3.6.10         Air sampling exercises were carried out in compliance with the standard testing methods (USEPA Method 2) by Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC). The air samples were analyzed by HOKLAS accredited laboratory (HKPC).

3.6.11         Details of the air sampling and analytical results are presented in Annex 3-a. The flue gas velocities, stack temperatures and concentrations and estimated emission rates of particulate matter of the three samples are shown in Table 3-8.

 Sample

Sampling Date

Measured Flue Gas Velocity (m/s)

Stack Temperature (K)

Measured Concentration of Particulate matter (mg/dscm)

Estimated Emission Rate (kg/hr)

1

24-Nov-06

2.3

503

22.7

0.024

2

27-Nov-06

2.2

506

27.8

0.026

3

27-Nov-06

1.9

491

23.2

0.020

Table 3-8   Summary of Measurement and Analytical Results of Stack Air Sampling for Existing Skeletal Cremator

 

3.6.12         As a conservative approach, the emission rate of 0.026kg/hr of particulate matter with flue gas velocity of 2.2m/s and stack temperature of 506K was adopted in the air quality model for assessing the cumulative impact due the dust emission from the existing skeletal cremator.

3.6.13         According to the information provided by FEHD, the operation time of the existing skeletal cremator is 0830 to 1530 everyday (excluding 1200 to 1300). Therefore, the air quality model considers particulate matter from the existing skeletal cremator to be emitted during this time period only.

3.6.14         With the concurrent project mentioned in Section 3.5, the worst-case scenarios during the construction phases of the Project are shown in Table 3-9. 24-hr and 1-hr average TSP levels at the representative ASRs for these scenarios have been predicted to evaluate the construction dust impact.

 

Scenario

Dust Emission Source

Period

A

Phase I construction works of the Project.

Dust emission from existing skeletal cremator.

Construction of new columbarium at Kiu Tau Road.